It’s not commonly known, but water damage is one of the most frequent causes of damage on a property, whether commercial or residential. Because of that, every single homeowner will likely experience this water damage at least once in their life. If you are experiencing water damage, it’s essential to understand that you must act fast to minimize the amount of damage that inflicts that property. The first step in understanding how to take care of water damage is to distinguish the different categories of water damage.
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The different categories of water damage refer to the source of the water and the level of contamination. The cleanliness of the water can determine the risks that are associated with coming in contact with it. Although they are no longer official designations, many still refer to those categories as Clean, Gray, and Black Water. Those terms can be helpful when trying to remember the cleanliness level of each category.
Category 1 of water damage refers to “clean water,” which is any water damage that does not pose an initial threat to human health. This means the water originates from a clean and sanitary source, such as faucets, drinking fountains, or broken water supply lines. There cannot be any chemicals, bacteria, or contaminants found in the water to be considered “clean.” Typically, any damage this type of water has done can be cleaned and restored.
Category 2 of water damage is known as “gray water,” which is water damage that has some levels of threat to a person when ingested or exposed to it. There are enough contaminants in gray water to cause significant levels of sickness and harm, so it’s important to either wait for a water damage company to start the cleanup or wear protective gear to avoid getting sick yourself.
Gray water usually comes from sources that use detergents or chemicals like the dishwasher or washing machine overflow/discharge, broken aquariums, punctured water beds, and overflowed toilet bowls that contain urine. Homes that are afflicted by category 2 water damage must remove any items affected and disinfect the home since it can cause more damage in the future.
Category 3 of water damage is known as “black water,” which is extremely dangerous for anyone to come in contact with. Those that are exposed to black water can give them serious diseases such as West Nile virus, tetanus, hepatitis B and C, norovirus, and more. Attempting to clean up category 3 water damage is extremely dangerous and should always be left to professionals at a water damage company. Black water includes sewage, rising flood waters, seawater, as well as river and groundwater.
Unfortunately, homes that are impacted by this type of will result in the removal of many items in your home. Professionals will have to replace the flooring, insulation, carpet, drywall, and more to keep contamination away from you. The home will also need to undergo significant disinfection to reenter the area safely.
It’s important to note that even if you have “clean” water damage in your home, it can quickly deteriorate to “gray” or “black” water damage if ignored or mishandled. “Clean” water damage will deteriorate mainly because of contact with mold, which can begin to grow within 24 hours. Contacting a water damage company like Clean USA to help you properly deal with the situation is imperative, as they can ensure the water damage is fully managed.